PHYSICAL EXPRESSION OF ANXIETY

We carry our experiences with us physically, in our bodies, and can become quite disconnected from our physical selves in the chaos of life. We may feel parts of ourselves exist in different spaces - spiritually, emotionally, sexually, physically.

I had the opportunity to speak with Sarah at Vice about some of the surprising ways we can experience anxiety. “Some of my clients have pain in a specific area of their body that they thought was another really scary medical thing, and they've come to understand it's a sign they're stressed out,” Federico says. “It could be pain in their throat, pain in their armpit, pain in their back—but these seemingly random physical experiences can be directly linked to anxiety.”

There can be a lot of fear associated with these experiences, which we can bring attention to, so we can recognize what's happening without being frightened. 

As a small grounding exercise, first allow yourself the awareness that your feelings of anxiety are manifesting not only in your thoughts, but also in your body. It’s ok to notice where you are feeling these emotions - in your stomach, in your heart rate, in the sweat on your palms, in the fluttering feeling in your chest, if it’s hard to breathe. Plant your feet flat on the ground and start by feeling the weight of your feet touching the ground, your ankles connected to your feet, your legs, and all the way up your body. You can simply direct your attention to these parts of you body as you bring yourself back into your body, integrate back into your whole, and feel the warmth and weight of your being.

laura federico